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Neanderthal Greg

HarrisVotes put out their new tagline or slogan yesterday.  Here it is:

Where Democracy Meets Innovation.

I get it.  They also just got new voting machine gizmos that they will roll out for the May 1 local elections with early voting beginning on April 19 – less than two months from today.  The City of Pasadena and Pasadena ISD are among those that will be voting on May 1.

HarrisVotes tweeted out the new voting gizmos a few days ago that included a video on how to use them.  The new gizmos include the use of paper.  It is an innovation for sure.

They are different from the current method we have been using for nearly a couple of decades.  It would be nice if HarrisVotes conducted an awareness campaign on their new innovation, directed at the political jurisdictions whose voters will be voting next month.  You don’t want them to show up at their polling location and getting surprised.  You know, all that jibber jabber about the election integrity thing. Just saying.

All these years, Texas Democrats have never been able to rattle Gov. Greg Abbott. President Joe Biden called out Abbott on “Neanderthal thinking” and Abbott went ballistic and lost it on Channel 2 news yesterday.  President Biden using the Neanderthal word was the polite way of calling Abbott a dumbarse.

Abbott got so riled up he went to the stale hater playbook and blamed new COVID-19 infections on President Biden releasing COVID-19 positive immigrants into our living rooms. That is not happening and is a lie. Abbott looked so silly and overmatched. Tragic.

President Biden has Neanderthal Greg’s number. Nice.

Way to go, Mr. President! Keep kicking his sorry worthless arse.

Here is the Channel 2 story: EXCLUSIVE: Abbott responds to criticism about order to rescind statewide mask mandate (click2houston.com).

From Luis Salinas on Gov. Greg Abbott’s Open for Business 100%:

The best comment I heard was: “Here in Texas, we going to remove all the red lights but ask people to act responsibly.”

Astros pitcher Framber Valdez dinged up his left ring finger – a fracture.

My Astros account executive sent me this yesterday:

Abbott’s announcement yesterday is good news for baseball! I know you are anxious for updates, but as of today (March 3rd), I have not been briefed on the new plan for this season since the governor lifted restrictions. Upper management is finalizing the remaining details, and we are waiting on MLB and the City of Houston to approve new capacity standards in the ballpark. We want to ensure that we can accommodate fans safely and efficiently, and we will inform you as soon as everything is approved. Thank you for your patience with this!

I won’t be going to The Yard anytime soon.

Gov. Greg Abbott is the retreater-in-chief.  A political coward. 

Abbott is following the science.  The political science.  He is worried about his extremist right-wing base that will challenge him in the 2022 Republican primary.  

He has botched the handling of the pandemic for a year now.  He didn’t have us prepared for the big freeze.  He is now panicking and giving in to the right-wingers by lifting the mask mandate.

He doesn’t care about your life or mine.  He only cares about his sorry political arse.

Opening 100% and lifting the mask mandate is just going to cause more folks to get sick and die.

Commentary will continue to wear a mask and act responsibly. 

Texas is one of the lousiest performing states when it comes to the pandemic. 

Abbott said this yesterday on his action:

“This does not remove personal responsibility.”

What a joke. We are one of the worse because Abbott has allowed and encouraged folks not to be responsible.

Those who have been responsible will continue to do so.

Those who haven’t will continue not to be responsible.

March 2, 2021 will go down in Texas history as one of the worse in Texas leadership.

We are being ridiculed nationally – deservedly, might I add.

Unbelievable. That’s all I have to say.

Texas Independence Day

If my brother Mike were still alive, he would be celebrating his 70th birthday today.

If Karen Carpenter was still around, she would be celebrating her 71st birthday today and she would still have one of the all-time greatest voices.

Speaking of the Texas Electric Greed, err Grid, today is Texas Independence Day. That’s funny.  185 years ago today.

My tweet photo today is actor Richard Widmark and his seven-barrel shotgun from the movie “The Alamo” when he played Jim Bowie.  I think that is the only seven-barrel shotgun I have ever seen.  You didn’t think he was going to fight off the Mexican army with just his famous knife.

Royko sent me this on my mention yesterday on Sen. Cancun Cruz:

“515,000 are dead in this country due to” the (deleted racially insensitive and incorrect name of) virus is a bogus number. It includes any death where the seemingly biased health departments test and find evidence where the dead person has virus anti-bodies even if they died of a heart attack, or by a car accident.

Far more citizens have died from heart attacks, stroke, and other diseases.

If the Dems truly cared about “lives” they wouldn’t fund Planned Parenthood, known to harvest baby parts for the cash, and is considered a greedy evil organization started by a racist who mastered Eugenics, and has killed tens of millions of unborn innocent, mostly minority, babies.

Wrong again.  Not even close.

My “The Wizard of Oz” wall calendar for March has a photo of Toto with the Wicked Witch’s “and your little dog too” quote.  One of cinema’s truly scary quotes.

The Beatles calendar has a photo of the four from 1963.

Did you know that in 1979, Astros pitcher Joe Niekro and his brother Phil, with The ATL, each had 21 wins to lead the NL?  Now you know.

Electric Greed

A local Republican elected official in a conversation with me this past weekend referred to the state’s electric grid as the electric greed.  Good line from a Republican or from anyone for that matter.

Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn were with President Joe Biden in H-Town this past Friday.  That is where they were supposed to be, so good for them.

U.S. Sen. Cancun Cruz was at the CPAC conference in Orlando praising Donald Trump while a bunch of folks in Texas are still without running water.  At CPAC, Cancun Cruz also took the time to poke fun at the virus and mask wearing.  That’s funny? I guess he forgot that 515,000 are dead in this country due to COVID-19, including over 43,000 Texans.  This guy is clueless.

We now have a third vaccine. We need to continue to mask up and not let up. Let’s not get stupid.

From the Nope Department, some fella at CPAC said this about talking to real folks at diners across America:

“They’re not talking about esoteric things that the Ivy League talks about. They’re talking about things like the Bible, standing for the national anthem … and the 10th Amendment.”

They probably know about the Second Amendment, have a vague notion of the First, and may have invoked the Fifth, but the Tenth – nope.

I can now operate my kitchen sink after it went out during the freeze because of pipe issues.  I also got a small but nagging leak fixed.  I am kind of back to normal. 

I spent most of the past weekend at my Dad’s in Baytown.  I didn’t get to watch the Golden Globes.  This past year, I have not really gotten to watch any of the flicks or TV shows that were nominated.  I am way behind if you know what I mean.

From the Chron this past Friday:

Saint Arnold is saying farewell to Santo, a black Kölsch that’s been on the brewery’s regular rotation since 2011 and became one of its top-selling brands over the past decade. The very last batch of Santo is on shelves now.

I have had it. It wasn’t on my go to Saint Arnold very short list. 

Some of Tiger’s fellow PGAers wore the red and black yesterday. Way to go.

The Astros started playing Spring Training games yesterday.

Got It

I went to the Northside Health Center yesterday morning around 9:30 am. They told me that they were only administering the first dose at that location.  They then made a call and sent me to the Acres Homes site where the second dose was being administered.  I went there and they gave me my shot.

I was back at my place by 11:15 am.

Yesterday afternoon, I got a call from Houston Health wanting to set up an appointment for me for my second dose. Sigh.

I now have a sense of relief that my Dad, my older sister and I have our second doses. My younger sister will get her second on Monday.  We still have to mask up and take precautions, but still, it feels a whole lot better.  As of this morning, I am not experiencing any side effects, just a slightly sore arm.

The Chron has a front-page story on Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo getting it right on warning us about the freeze and comparing it to a Cat 5 hurricane.  Her haters are never going to get used to her running county government and we know why. She is doing a real good job and some folks just can’t muster up the courage to say so.

State legislators held hearings on the freeze yesterday.  Most of them sounded real upset.  Do you really think they are going to address last week’s issues?  In order to do that, they have to hold Gov. Greg Abbott accountable.  Commentary is not betting the public will be served.  As it gets warmer – well, you get the picture.

First Lady Jill Biden and President Joe Biden will visit H-Town today. 

I mentioned last year when Baseball Hall of Fame great Al Kaline left us. He played for the Tigers.  Did you know that he was the youngest starting player in the history of the MLB All Star Game?  He was 20.  Now you know.

In 1980, Jose Cruuuuuz finished third in the NL MVP Award voting after batting .302 with 91 RBIs and 36 stolen bases.  Hall of Fame great Mike Schmidt won the award and Hall of Fame great Gary Carter was runner-up.  Now you know, again.

Siete Potato Chips

Luis Salinas sent me this on my quest to get my second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine by Houston Health:

Hi Marc: I went to Methodist with FIL and wife to get first shot. We had to wait to two week for our appointment. It was very well organized. It took about 5 minutes to get it and the 15 min. wait to make sure we were OK. It was very smooth. They gave us the appointment for three weeks to come back and I got a text confirming that in the afternoon. What happened to the COH? Sorry about your treatment there.

After a couple of calls I finally got through yesterday, and Houston Health told me to just show up today where I got my first dose.  That’s not too organized if you ask me, but that is where I am headed this morning. I am disappointed in my City of H-Town government.  I expect them to do better and not make this half arsed effort to save lives during the pandemic.

I watched Gov. Greg Abbott’s address to the state yesterday evening and it was disappointing.  He didn’t fess up and came across as the weak leader that he is.  It was a nothing address.  What a worm.

Do you have Siete Potato Chips?  I do. You can get yours at a Sprouts near you and coming soon to Whole Foods.  They are delish.

Did you know that Hall of Fame great Craig Biggio started 19 consecutive Opening Day games, an Astros record? Now you know.

I don’t have much to say today because I have to go the Northside Health Center and see if they will give me my second dose.  Good luck to me.

Seconds, Please

Commentary still has not heard from the Houston Health Department on my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine which is scheduled for tomorrow.  I will spend a frustrating day dealing with this today.  It doesn’t have to work this way.

The hard copy Chron story headline on Tiger this morning reads like this:

Rollover crash badly injures golfer Woods

It should read:

Rollover crash badly injures Tiger Woods

Hang in there, Tiger.

Gov. Greg Abbott will give a statewide address at 6:02 pm this evening about Texas’ response to last week’s winter storm and the power outages it caused. I didn’t know Texas had a response. According to the Trib, the address is not expected to be a long speech – just five minutes or so.   It would be nice to hear Gov. Abbott say he let us down and take full responsibility.  Most likely, he will worm his way out and point the blame at others.  That is who he is.

President Joe Biden and The First Lady will visit H-Town this Friday.  I am sure they will visit with the Harris County Judge and the H-Town Mayor.  I wonder if Gov. Abbott will also be part of the visit?

AG Ken Paxton finally returned to Austin yesterday.  He was in Utah during the Texas deep freeze.  The media was waiting for him and he didn’t respond to questions.  I wonder if top Republican Texas leaders at least privately acknowledge he is a POS?

Paxton and U.S. Sen Cancun Cruz are a national embarrassment.  Abbott’s handling of the pandemic and the freeze is also up there.

Commentary would like to think Texas is the greatest state in the USA.  These three make it difficult to make our case.  What a joke.

The Astros sent season ticket holders this yesterday:

I know you all have been anxiously waiting for updates regarding this baseball season. We will be sending an email in the near future outlining what the year will look like and what your options are regarding your tickets.

We will see.

1/6 Commission

Read this from Politico:

Senior House lawmakers are battling over the contours of a panel inspired by the 9/11 Commission to investigate the deadly Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, with Republicans demanding equal representation.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Republican counterparts have already traded one offer each but still remain at odds over several issues including membership on the proposed commission, according to multiple sources familiar with the talks. Pelosi, who’s vowed to quickly take up legislation creating the commission, proposed tilting the panel in favor of Democrats, with her party getting to pick seven of the members while Republican leaders choose four additional appointees.

But Republicans are insisting on an equal split — each party gets to appoint five members — in their counteroffer, sources told POLITICO. Republicans also are pressing Democrats to avoid specifically prescribing avenues of inquiry that might steer the panel in certain directions, as opposed to allowing panelists to determine their own course.

In fact, members of the former 9/11 Commission — several of whom have consulted with Pelosi — cited that even partisan split as the reason for their success as they advised Pelosi on this year’s insurrection commission. Their willingness to take bipartisan ownership of the direction of the investigation, without an edge for either party, helped ensure the commission’s credibility in the eyes of the public, they said. For a review of the Jan. 6 riot to be credible, the former commissioners said, it must similarly be seen as independent and unbiased, rather than a tool of either party.

“There is really strong support in the country for us to seek the truth, find the truth, but also understand how we have to protect the American people from what might be out there in terms of domestic terrorism and the rest,” Pelosi told reporters late last week.

Pelosi said the investigative panel would closely mirror the 9/11 Commission, but it’s clear from Democrats’ opening offer that they would have preferred a sharply different balance of power.

A senior Democratic aide cautioned that the two parties are still exchanging offers and nothing is final. In the Democratic discussion draft, each of the so-called “Big Four” congressional leaders would get to appoint two members to the commission. President Joe Biden would get to pick three additional members, including the chair, who would have subpoena power.

Under the Pelosi proposal, the commission would have to issue a report by the end of this year with the panel set to dissolve 60 days after the report is finished.

The 9/11 Commission was a 10-member body that included five Democrats and five Republicans. The chair, former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, was appointed by then-President George W. Bush. The vice chair, former Congressman Lee Hamilton, was appointed by congressional Democratic leaders. Both told POLITICO last week that they viewed their mandate as excising any extreme partisanship from within the commission’s ranks, particularly on the staff that ultimately carried out the investigation.

The 9/11 Commission investigated an attack from foreign terrorists.  Having an equal number of Republicans and Democrats made sense. The 1/6 Commission will investigate an insurrection by MAGA terrorists who are a key base of the Republican Party.  They were part of the false Stop the Steal effort.  As of this past weekend, Republican Congressional leaders on the Sunday news talk shows still would not acknowledge that President Joe Biden was elected in a fair election.  That is why there was an insurrection.  They continue to promote the Big Lie. They do not deserve equal representation on the proposed 1/6 Commission that will investigate their own base.  To give them equal representation would only further damage our democracy. Nope!

Here is the entire 1/6 Commission Politico story: Republicans demand equal representation on 1/6 Commission (msn.com).

AG Ken Paxton and State Senator Angela Paxton fled the ice storm for Utah last week and somehow a lot of us are not surprised by this. What a shame.

When I got my first COVID-19 vaccine dose, the Houston Health Department said they would contact me to schedule a second dose for February 25. They also said if I didn’t hear from them as the 25th approached, call them.

I had not heard back from them as of yesterday and I looked at my first dose card and there was a handwritten note on the card that said to call one week prior to second dose due date.  I called yesterday and after being on hold for around 45 minutes, I was told that I would hear from them no earlier than 48 hours before my scheduled dose date.  The person I talked to was pretty rude and I let the person know that I didn’t appreciate the rude attitude.

This will be Albert Pujols last season in MLB.  He’s retiring. A great ballplayer. 662 career dingers, 2,100 RBIs, 3,236 base hits, 10 time All Star, 2 World Series rings, 3 NL MVPs.  Enough said. A first ballot Hall of Famer. All of the Astros fans know the mark he left in Game 5 of the 2005 NLCS at The Yard.  60 of his regular season career dingers are against Astros pitching – the most among MLB opponents.  31 at The Yard, also the most at any visiting ballpark.  He did some damage to us for sure. Commentary witnessed way too many Pujols dingers against us.

Wicked Week

That was certainly a wicked week we just endured.  I ended up with three different power outages – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  I have some pipe and valve leaking issues that I am dealing with. I had to buy a new water heater because in the process of dealing with a leak we found that it was rusted.  I now have a clogged pipe that keeps me from using my kitchen sink.  I am dealing with it. I can now shower, do have hot water and don’t have to boil water.  Let’s hope I can get it all repaired this week.

@AOC used her national influence to raise a few million in funds for H-Town and Texas.  Cancun Cruz got skewered on “SNL.”

You can pretty much say that both Gov. Greg Abbott and Cruz just saw their aspirations for national office disappear this past wicked week. Texas was in the news this past week for all the wrong reasons.

When the pandemic started a year ago, I never thought COVID-19 would kill half a million in the USA.  After a few months, when Donald Trump gave up and governors like Abbott started kowtowing to the morons, I thought reaching half a million dead was a possibility.  It looks like we will pass 600,000.  It didn’t have to be this way.

I don’t think I could film out the window of an airliner an engine that was on fire. I would be too busy saying “Hail Mary” and “Act of Contrition.”

CNN’s “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” is a great and delicious watch.  They have shown two episodes the past two Sunday nights.  It focuses on food in Italy’s restaurants by region. It is very informative, and the presentation is exquisite.  Did I say delicious? 

The full squad reports today for the Astros Spring Training.

Cancun Cruz

Commentary got him two leaks.  One dealing with the bathroom sink.  The other dealing with the water heater that is up in the attic.  I scheduled an appointment with the plumber.  Sigh.

On Ted Cruz, I think the latest hurts him more for reelection in 2024 than for a possible bid for president.  There are a lot of Texans across the board politically, geographically and economically who have taken a big hit.  They are not going to forget Cruz hightailing it to Mexico.

Here is from today’s Chron E-Board:

This editorial board called for Cruz’s resignation last month for his role in the Capitol riot, saying he wouldn’t be dearly missed by constituents anyway because he has never prioritized the unsexy tedium of governing and advocacy over the goal nearest and dearest to his heart: winning the presidency.

And this:

Take our advice, senator, and resign. Seems like you could use a break and we could, too, from an ineffective politician who, even in crisis, puts his personal itinerary before the needs of Texans.

And I love this reference to The Beatles “Ticket to Ride”:

But a senator elected to represent nearly 30 million people? He got a ticket to ride and he don’t care.

Here is the entire E-Board take:  Editorial: As Texans froze, Ted Cruz got a ticket to paradise. Paradise can have him. (houstonchronicle.com).

Here is from Politico:

The brutal winter storm that turned Texas roads to ice, burst pipes across the state and left millions of residents shivering and without power has also damaged the reputations of three of the state’s leading Republicans.

Sen. Ted Cruz was discovered to have slipped off to Mexico on Wednesday night, only to announce his return when he was caught in the act. Gov. Greg Abbott came under fire over his leadership and misleading claims about the causes of the power outages. And former Gov. Rick Perry suggested Texans preferred power failures to federal regulation, a callous note in a moment of widespread suffering.

It’s more than just a public relations crisis for the three politicians. The storm has also battered the swaggering, Texas brand of free-market governance that’s central to the state’s political identity on the national stage.

“Texans are angry and they have every right to be. Failed power, water and communications surely took some lives,” JoAnn Fleming, a Texas conservative activist and executive director of a group called Grassroots America, said in a text message exchange with POLITICO.

“The Texas electric grid is not secure,” said Fleming, pointing out that lawmakers “have been talking about shoring up/protecting the Texas electric grid for THREE legislative sessions (6 yrs),” but “every session special energy interests kill the bills with Republicans in charge … Our politicians spend too much time listening to monied lobbyists & political consultants. Not enough time actually listening to real people.”

Here is all of the Politico story: Top Texas Republicans on the ropes after tone-deaf storm response – POLITICO.

Our state government has been run into the ditch. 

I was in Pasadena yesterday and folks were lined up for blocks for a hot meal, snacks and bottled water.  This was at the Pasadena City Hall. 

Folks are hurting this morning.